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Spine Surgeon Robert Rovner, MD Expands Practice To Oakland

Dr. Robert Rovner, a leading spine surgeon in the Bay Area returns to practicing in Oakland in addition to his Danville location. “Specializing in non-surgical treatments and minimally invasive spine surgery for the best possible outcomes is the mission for our practice,” he says.

Bay Area spine surgeon Robert Rovner, MD

Robert Rovner, MD

Oakland, CA – Residents of the Oakland area again have a familiar provider of care for neck and back pain, injuries and related conditions with the return of Robert Rovner, MD’s practice to the city. Known as a leading spine surgeon who practiced in Oakland for many years, Dr. Rovner is pleased to return with the opening of a local office. Dr. Rovner treats patients with worker’s compensation cases as well as offering the latest therapies and procedures for back and neck pain and injuries. Many procedures may be done on an outpatient basis, allowing these patients to go home the same day. Other patients may need only minimal stays for recovery after a procedure. In addition to the new Oakland office Dr. Rovner continues to maintain his practice in Danville.

Patients may schedule appointments at either office by calling (925) 275-0700.   Email: appointments@discandspine.com  

The practice website address is www.discandspine.com

Dr. Rovner’s Oakland office address is 2923 Webster Street, #202 Oakland, CA 94609 

Dr. Rovner was featured in an ABC News story covering his innovations in surgery to correct scoliosis, a condition that causes a progressive curvature of the spine. Another recent story on ABC News showed how Dr. Rovner treated a woman in her 50’s who was suffering from low back and leg pain caused by lumbar spinal stenosis, a common condition characterized by narrowing of the spinal canal. Instead of performing a spinal fusion Dr. Rovner implanted a clip-like device to stabilize the spine after decompression was performed to relieve pressure on the nerves. “This less invasive alternative to spinal fusion preserves range of motion and allows for a more rapid recovery,” says Dr. Rovner.

Robert Rovner, MD was raised in Washington, DC. He attended college at the University of Maryland, earning a BS in Zoology in 1975. He completed his MD degree at the University of Maryland in 1979. Dr. Rovner moved to California for his General Surgery Internship and Orthopedic Surgery Residency at the University of California at Irvine from 1979 to 1984 then completed a Fellowship in Spine Surgery at USC-Rancho Los Amigos Hospital from 1984 to 1985.

Upon completion of 14 years of medical training Dr. Rovner started in private practice in the East Bay in 1984 and has been here serving patients from Oakland to Livermore ever since. He participates in volunteer time at CCS children’s clinics, volunteer time for scoliosis screening in local school districts and volunteer time as the team physician for one of our local high school football teams. He has been on the volunteer clinical faculty of the University of California at Davis School of Medicine since 1998 and is currently Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, having spent several years in the Department of Spine Surgery there.

Dr. Rovner has been in practice with fellow spine surgeon Vikram Talwar, MD since 2005. In 2015 they created Disc and Spine, a private practice devoted to both surgical and non-surgical spine care with an emphasis on personalized patient care and service. As a team they are able to analyze difficult cases together, and assist each other in surgery, bringing over 50 years of combined clinical practice to bear on challenging cases.

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Bay Area Spine Surgeon Treats Spinal Stenosis With Titanium Clip

The Coflex Device Offers An Alternative To Spinal Fusion After Decompression, May Offer Best Treatment To Preserve Range Of Movement For The Right Patients, says Robert Rovner, MD.

Danville, CA – Kim is a 50-something who loves to be active. She participates in marathon bike rides and loves to hike in the mountains.That was until the onset of intense low back pain threatened to keep Kim from her favorite activities.“Pain was radiating from my lower back and down my legs,“ she says. “Sitting down was the only way I could make the pain stop.”

minimally invasive spine surgery helps bay Area woman

Dr. Rovner’s patient Kim rides her bike again after treatment for spinal stenosis.

Spine surgeon Dr. Robert Rovner diagnosed Kim with lumbar spinal stenosis.
Lumbar spinal stenosis refers to a narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back caused by bone and / or tissue growth in the openings in the spinal bones. This narrowing can compress and irritate the nerves that branch out from the spinal cord. Symptoms can include pain, numbness, or weakness. Vertebrae in Kim’s lower back had become unstable, putting painful pressure on surrounding nerves. Serious cases can require spinal fusion after a decompression procedure but Dr. Rovner recommended a less invasive procedure using “Coflex” a titanium clip-like device .

“Lower back and leg pain caused by lumbar spinal stenosis may now be treated in many cases without resorting to spinal fusion,” says Dr. Rovner, of Disc & Spine in Danville, CA. “This less invasive procedure preserves range of motion and allows for a more rapid recovery.”

Dr. Rovner says that spinal stenosis is usually treated with a procedure called a “laminectomy” to decompress the nerves, combined with fusion to stabilize the spine. With the Coflex procedure, the  clip is placed between two vertebrae immediately after a laminectomy is completed. The spring-like device allows the back to flex while providing support.

“A recently published five-year randomized prospective outcome study of laminectomy and Coflex patients shows outcomes equal to or better than patients who were treated with a combination of laminectomy and fusion. Additionally, there were fewer revision surgeries necessary in the Coflex group during the five years of the study.” (International Journal of Spine Surgery, Michael Musacchio, MD – source: http://ijssurgery.com/10.14444/3006)

“Before Coflex became available I was not used to seeing such rapid recovery and return to function with patients in whom I’ve done either a simple laminectomy alone or laminectomy combined with fusion,” says Dr. Rovner. 

Dr. Rovner says that patients with more advanced stenosis may not be candidates for the Coflex implant and may require more extensive surgery or spinal fusion. “It’s important to consult with a board certified spine surgeon who offers several alternatives for treatment depending on each patient’s condition,” he says.

For more information or to book an appointment call Disc & Spine at 925-275-0700. discandspine.com

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery In The Bay Area

San Francisco Bay Area spine surgeon Robert Rovner, MD says a new minimally invasive procedure is effective for many patients suffering from back pain and associated leg pain while preserving range of motion.

minimally invasive spine surgery helps bay Area woman

Dr. Robert Rovner’s patient Kim rides her bike after minimally invasive spine surgery.

“ In many cases the pain caused by lumbar spinal stenosis may now be treated using an alternative to spinal fusion,” says Dr. Rovner. The procedure uses a titanium clip called “Coflex” to stabilize the spine after a laminectomy is performed to relieve pressure on the nerves. “This less invasive alternative preserves range of motion with the added benefit of a rapid recovery.”

Dr. Rovner’s patient Kim is in her early 50’s and is extremely active. She participates in marathon bike rides and loves hiking through rugged mountain ranges. But a few years ago Kim began to suffer from intense back pain that became so intense that she was sidelined from enjoying her favorite physical activities..

Kim was experiencing nerve pain that radiated from her lower back down to her legs. “The only time I wasn’t in pain was when I was sitting,” she says. Dr. Rovner diagnosed Kim with lumbar spinal stenosis which was causing vertebrae in her lower back to become unstable, creating pressure on the surrounding nerves.

Lumbar spinal stenosis is usually treated with a procedure called a “laminectomy” which removes a section of bone from the vertebrae to decompress the nerves. A laminectomy is usually followed with spinal fusion to stabilize the spine. Instead, Dr. Rovner recommended a less invasive procedure using the “Coflex” device. “The Coflex was implanted after a laminectomy procedure to hold Kim’s vertebrae in position while allowing them to flex, preserving range of motion rather than fusing the vertebrae together,” says Dr. Rovner.

“The first patient I treated with the Coflex procedure was back to playing tennis and golf two weeks after his surgery,” says Dr. Rovner. “The rapid recovery and return to function with Coflex is something that I’m not used to seeing with patients in whom I’ve done either a simple laminectomy alone or laminectomy combined with fusion.”

Kim plans to return to some long-delayed adventures. ”I’m going to be doing some backpacking and I’m planning to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with my son,” she says.

Dr. Rovner says that not all patients are candidates for the Coflex clip. ”Patients with more advanced stenosis may not be candidates for Coflex and may require more extensive surgery or fusion, so it’s important to consult with a board certified spine surgeon who offers several alternatives for treatment depending on each patient’s condition.”

For more information on non-surgical therapies and surgical treatment for back or neck pain and injuries call the office of Robert Rovner, MD at Disc & Spine in Danville, CA at 925.275.0700 Visit www.DiscAndSpine.com

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